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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Maple Syrup

Craving pancakes but maple syrup’s run dry?

No stress, we’ve got you covered with some genius swaps.

Sure, maple syrup is the OG topping for a stack of fluffy pancakes or crispy waffles.

But life throws curveballs, like a maple syrup shortage right when you’re about to dig in.

Good news is, there’s a bunch of alternatives just chilling in your kitchen, waiting for their time to shine.

We’re here to guide you through swapping in some sweet contenders that might just become your new go-tos.

Think outside the maple syrup bottle. It’s time to get creative and give your breakfast a twist.

Ready to turn a breakfast disaster into a delicious win?

The 5 Best Substitutes for Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a delicious and versatile sweetener that adds a unique flavor to various recipes.

However, if you run out of maple syrup or prefer alternatives, there are several substitutes that can provide similar characteristics and sweetness.

In this guide, we will explore the top 5 substitutes for maple syrup, comparing their key characteristics and providing the proper ratios to ensure the best results in your recipes.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
HoneySweet, floral, and slightly different flavor than mapleReplace 1 cup of maple syrup with 3/4 cup of honey
Brown Sugar SyrupRich, caramel-like flavorReplace 1 cup of maple syrup with 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water
Corn SyrupMildly sweet and thickReplace 1 cup of maple syrup with 1 cup of corn syrup
MolassesRich, robust flavor with bitter undertonesReplace 1 cup of maple syrup with 1 cup of molasses
Buttermilk SyrupCreamy, buttery, and slightly tangyReplace 1 cup of maple syrup with 1 cup of buttermilk syrup

Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Honey


Honey is a versatile ingredient with a subtle sweetness and unmistakable flavor.

A natural sweetener, honey varies in color and taste depending on the plants derived from it.

Honey has been used as both food and medicine for centuries.

The simplest substitute for maple syrup is regular honey instead of pure maple syrup.

This doesn’t change the dish’s flavor, but it adds a boost of sweetness.

The best kinds of honey to use are clover or orange blossom.

When using honey, it’s important to consider the strong flavors that come with it.

Honey is very powerful and can easily overwhelm other ingredients in a dish.

When substituting two parts maple syrup, a good rule of thumb equals one part, honey.

  • Key Characteristics: Honey offers a sweet and floral flavor that differs slightly from maple syrup. It can be a great alternative with its own distinct taste.
  • Proper Ratio: Replace 1 cup of maple syrup with 3/4 cup of honey. Adjust the quantity based on your desired level of sweetness.

2 – Brown Sugar Syrup

brown sugar syrup

Brown sugar syrup is another great substitute for maple syrup.

This sweet, sticky syrup is made from brown sugar and water.

Due to the added water, this makes it much sweeter than pure maple syrup.

Brown sugar syrup typically goes by ‘golden syrup’ in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Despite its name, golden syrup is not syrup.

It’s a combination of molasses or treacle and sugar.

Unlike pure maple syrup, brown sugar syrup is much more affordable and accessible to many grocery stores worldwide.

It’s also delicious and easy to use.

  • Key Characteristics: Brown sugar syrup has a rich and caramel-like flavor, providing a similar depth to your recipes as maple syrup.
  • Proper Ratio: Replace 1 cup of maple syrup with 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water. Adjust the amount of brown sugar based on your desired sweetness level.

3 – Corn Syrup

corn syrup

Corn syrup is a common ingredient in many foods, especially those from the United States.

It’s been used as a sweetener for years due to its affordability and universal availability.

There are two kinds of corn syrup: light and dark.

However, both of these types work as substitutes for maple syrup.

Both contain high amounts of glucose, a crucial ingredient for any dish.

In the United States, corn syrup is typically made from genetically modified corn.

As such, please make sure to check your ingredients before buying this substitute.

Corn syrup has an exceptionally sweet flavor that can be overpowering if used incorrectly.

  • Key Characteristics: Corn syrup offers a mildly sweet taste and a thick consistency. While it lacks the distinctive flavor of maple syrup, it can still work as a substitute for sweetness.
  • Proper Ratio: Replace 1 cup of maple syrup with 1 cup of corn syrup. Note that corn syrup will not provide the same flavor profile as maple syrup.

4 – Molasses


Molasses is a byproduct of the process of refining sugarcane into sugar crystals.

Once crystallized, it’s filtered and boiled down to create molasses.

It has a distinct flavor that is both sweet and bitter.

The taste can vary depending on the type of sugars used in the refinement process.

Like corn syrup, molasses has a strong flavor that can overwhelm the taste of other ingredients in a dish.

It’s also not ideal for baking or cooking at high temperatures due to its lower sugar content than maple syrup.

Nevertheless, it is an inexpensive and accessible substitute used in many dishes.

  • Key Characteristics: Molasses has a rich and robust flavor with bitter undertones. It adds depth and complexity to recipes, making it a suitable replacement for maple syrup in certain dishes.
  • Proper Ratio: Replace 1 cup of maple syrup with 1 cup of molasses. Keep in mind that molasses has a stronger flavor, so adjust the quantity according to your taste preference.

5 – Buttermilk Syrup

buttermilk syrup

Buttermilk syrup is a recent substitute used to imitate the flavor and consistency of maple syrup.

Unlike other substitutes, this one is non-perishable and can be kept in your cupboard.

It’s also very sweet with a subtle, tangy taste that works well as a topping for pancakes or ice cream.

However, it’s not ideal for baking.

Buttermilk syrup is a great substitute to use when you’ve run out of maple syrup and need a quick fix.

Traditional buttermilk or organic buttermilk from grass-fed cows are the best kinds to use.

Both have the same flavor, although the organic buttermilk will be slightly thicker.

This syrup is great for sweet dishes like waffles or French toast.

  • Key Characteristics: Buttermilk syrup is creamy, buttery, and slightly tangy. It provides a unique taste that can enhance your recipes in a different way compared to maple syrup.
  • Proper Ratio: Replace 1 cup of maple syrup with 1 cup of buttermilk syrup. Adjust the quantity based on your desired level of sweetness and tanginess.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Maple Syrup

Craving a sweet touch without maple syrup? Your search ends here! Explore our handpicked selection of the 5 best substitutes that seamlessly replace the rich flavor of maple syrup in your recipes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Honey
  • Brown Sugar Syrup
  • Corn Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Buttermilk Syrup


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Maple Syrup
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